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Grammy-winning recording artist and actor Justin Timberlake more or less grew up in the spotlight. Making his screen debut before he was even old enough to shave, Timberlake was a cast member of the early 1990s revamp of "The Mickey Mouse Club" (The Disney Channel, 1989-1994). From there, he gained international fame as Britney Spears' boyfriend and the front man for the phenomenally popular boy band N'Sync with hit songs like "It's Gonna Be Me" and "Girlfriend," before striking out on his own in the early 2000s. Timberlake quickly established credibility as a solo artist, eclipsing his 'NSync colleagues with the multi-platinum albums Justified (2002) and Future Sex/Love Sounds (2006). After securing his position as one of the modern music's most reliable artists, Timberlake sought to tackle Hollywood with roles in indie features like "Alpha Dog" (2006) and "Black Snake Moan" (2006), before stepping up to voice roles in "Shrek the Third" (2007) and "Shrek Forever After" (2010). He earned laughs for a stint of hosting duties on "Saturday Night Live' (NBC, 1975- ), which included a hilarious digital video song with Andy Samberg called "D--k in a Box," which went on to become one of the most viewed...
Grammy-winning recording artist and actor Justin Timberlake more or less grew up in the spotlight. Making his screen debut before he was even old enough to shave, Timberlake was a cast member of the early 1990s revamp of "The Mickey Mouse Club" (The Disney Channel, 1989-1994). From there, he gained international fame as Britney Spears' boyfriend and the front man for the phenomenally popular boy band N'Sync with hit songs like "It's Gonna Be Me" and "Girlfriend," before striking out on his own in the early 2000s. Timberlake quickly established credibility as a solo artist, eclipsing his 'NSync colleagues with the multi-platinum albums Justified (2002) and Future Sex/Love Sounds (2006). After securing his position as one of the modern music's most reliable artists, Timberlake sought to tackle Hollywood with roles in indie features like "Alpha Dog" (2006) and "Black Snake Moan" (2006), before stepping up to voice roles in "Shrek the Third" (2007) and "Shrek Forever After" (2010). He earned laughs for a stint of hosting duties on "Saturday Night Live' (NBC, 1975- ), which included a hilarious digital video song with Andy Samberg called "D--k in a Box," which went on to become one of the most viewed videos on YouTube. Meanwhile, Timberlake received critical praise for his part in the Oscar-baiting drama, "The Social Network" (2010), before turning in a charming lead performance in the romantic comedy "Friends With Benefits" (2011), all proving that he had far more depth and range than most had anticipated from the former head of a '90s boy band. A divisive return to music, the sprawling two-disc event The 20/20 Experience (2013) received mixed reviews, but the resulting tour spawned a hit concert film directed by Jonathan Demme, "Justin Timberlake + The Tennessee Kids" (2016). Timberlake's single from the animated hit "Trolls" (2016), "Can't Stop the Feeling," became that year's biggest-selling hit, but Timberlake did not release a new album until February 2018, in conjunction with headlining the Super Bowl halftime show that year. Man of the Woods was announced as Timberlake's most personal album, showcasing the music of his Tennessee roots.
Born on Jan. 31, 1981, Justin Randall Timberlake grew up in the suburb of Millington, TN, just outside the city of Memphis. The grandson of a Baptist mister, Timberlake was raised in the religion and even attended the same Baptist church where his father, Randall, served as choir director. Randall Timberlake and Justin's mother, Lynn Bomar Timberlake, divorced in 1985. However, Lynn remained an active part of her son's life and career well into his adulthood. Showing a proclivity for singing early on, the 11-year-old Timberlake appeared as a contestant on "Star Search" (syndicated, 1983-1995) in 1993. Performing under the stage moniker of "Justin Randall," Timberlake crooned cute country-western tunes to an appreciative audience. While he did not go home a winner that night, Timberlake's career was officially launched. Soon after his "Star Search" appearance, Timberlake was tapped by an Orlando casting for a remake of the popular children's variety series, "The Mickey Mouse Club." The cast proved to be a talented assemblage; in addition to Timberlake, other cast members included Timberlake's future girlfriend, Spears, future tour mate Christina Aguilera and future 'NSync band member, J.C. Chasez. It was Timberlake and his short-cropped, curly blond hair - with his burgeoning dancing and singing talents frequently on display - who emerged as one of the show's brightest stars.
After "The Mickey Mouse Club" ended production in 1995, Timberlake was recruited by singer Chris Kirkpatrick and music producer Lou Pearlman to be a member of a new all-male vocal group. To help fill the remaining ranks, Timberlake recommended his fellow Mouseketeer, J.C. Chasez. Along with Joey Fatone and Lance Bass, the photogenic quintet was dubbed NSync (or *NSYNC, as it was often stylized). Launching their careers in Germany first, the group later conquered U.S. charts. Their first album, 1998's self-titled *NSYNC spawned a number of Top 40 hits, most notably the chart topper "Tearin' Up My Heart" and the saccharine sweet puppy lust ballad, "God Must Have Spent a Little More Time On You." NSync's next effort, 2000's No Strings Attached, fared even better, selling over 2.4 million albums in its first week and eventually becoming the group's fastest selling album of all time.
Not surprisingly, expectations ran extraordinarily high for their next album, 2001's Celebrity. Although the album did well, eventually selling well over 5 million units,Celebrity fell far short of the 15 million copies sold of No Strings Attached. Soon after the completion of the Celebrity tour in 2002, 'NSync issued a press release stating that the group would be taking a sabbatical from the recording studio. As expected, Timberlake used the time off to pursue his long-rumored solo project. Tired of his squeaky-clean image, Timberlake actively sought out help from hip-hop producers Pharrell Williams and Timbaland to help him craft a sexier, edgier new sound. Mindful of his old fan base, Timberlake also hired R&B singer-producer Brian McKnight to polish his sexy, pop-friendly ballads. Released in November 2002, Justified debuted at No. 2 on the charts and eventually went seven times platinum. In addition to winning the Grammy for Best Pop Vocal Album of the year, Justified also spawned a Grammy-winning single "Cry Me a River," and a video that took an obvious swipe at his now ex-girlfriend Spears.
Alas, Timberlake's road to success was not without its share of bumps In February 2004, the singer found himself thrust into the center of controversy as the result of a performance during the Super Bowl XXXVIII half-time show. Scheduled to sing "Rock Your Body" live on-stage alongside Janet Jackson, Timberlake surprised audiences with an especially sultry rendition and sexually suggestive choreography. At the climax of the song, Timberlake tore off a part of Jackson's black leather outfit as part of a planned costume reveal. As part of her outfit detached, however, Jackson's right breast - complete with metal nipple cover - was briefly exposed before 140 million viewers worldwide. The fallout from this so-called "wardrobe malfunction" was surprisingly intense. The next day, CBS (the network that aired the Super Bowl that year) issued a press release, expressing outrage over the incident. Pressured into offering a mea culpa, Timberlake publicly apologized for the incident at the 2004 Grammy Awards. For her part, Jackson seemed less contrite. Ironically, it was she, much more so than Timberlake, who ended up taking the brunt of the controversy.
The only thing hotter than Timberlake's recording career was his personal life. Between 1998 to 2007, Timberlake was romantically linked with a bevy of A-list starlets and songstresses, starting with pop queen and former Mouseketeer, Spears. The relationship ended after four years in 2002 amid speculations of her infidelity which he had so blatantly revealed to the world with his "Cry Me a River" video, complete w/ a cheating Britney look-a-like. The two would, however, remain friendly after the break-up. After his split with Spears, Timberlake entered into another long-term romance, this time with actress Cameron Diaz. The love connection between these two young, beautiful, and highly successful individuals lasted nearly four years, during which time the athletic twosome graced the covers of countless supermarket tabloids, often seeing golfing or surfing. In early 2007, however, the couple confirmed what many gossip columnists had predicted by splitting up. Timberlake reportedly wasted no time embracing his bachelorhood. Following his break-up with Diaz, Timberlake was publicly spotted in the company of some of Tinseltown's hottest ingénues, including a rumored Jessica Biel and Scarlett Johansson.
In September 2006, Timberlake released his second solo album, FutureSex/LoveSounds, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard charts. To promote the album, Timberlake appeared on "Saturday Night Live" (NBC, 1975- ) as both guest host and musical guest. The highlight of the evening was a mock music video that featured Timberlake and "S.N.L." regular Andy Samberg for a '90s-style R&B ballad called "D--k in a Box." Shockingly vulgar and riotously funny, the song quickly gained a cult following on the internet, becoming one of the most viewed video clips on the new web app YouTube. In addition to spawning two hit singles - "SexyBack" and "My Love (featuring T.I.)" - FutureSex/LoveSounds also garnered Timberlake two more Grammys for Best Dance Recording and Best Rap/Collaboration. Hot off his latest musical triumphs, Timberlake launched his acting career in earnest during 2007. Though Timberlake had a few small film roles in the past - such as in the 2006 direct-to-video thriller, "Edison Force" - Timberlake's first true role of substance was as Frankie Ballenbacher in director Nick Cassavettes' "Alpha Dog" (2007). Based on the true-life story of baby-faced drug dealer, Jesse James Hollywood, "Alpha Dog" fared poorly at the box office, despite a strong marketing push from Universal Pictures. Timberlake's next project, the unsettling "Black Snake Moan" (2007) did nominally better, but reception of Timberlake's performance was decidedly mixed. Timberlake was such a hot property on so many levels, however, that Hollywood hardly cared, lining up to land the singer-turned-actor for roles in future film projects.
After earning a Grammy nod in 2008 for his collaboration with Madonna on "4 Minutes" off her Hard Candy album, Timberlake received an Emmy Award win in 2009 for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for his hosting stint on "Saturday Night Live" (NBC, 1975- ), in which he reunited with cast member Samberg for their hilariously inappropriate follow-up called "MotherLover." On the big screen, he earned his biggest acclaim to date for his portrayal of former Facebook executive and Napster founder Sean Parker in the Academy Award-baiting drama "The Social Network" (2010). Meanwhile, he again hosted "SNL" and went on to receive an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor in 2011. On the business end of things, Timberlake took an ownership stake in MySpace after News Corp. sold the flailing company for a paltry $30-40 million in 2011 after plunking down $580 million six years prior. Though the details of the deal remained murky, Timberlake stated that he planned on using the site - which had transformed into a music promotion site after Facebook took over the social networking scene - to premiere original content while allowing fans to interact with artists. The planned relaunch proved unsuccessful, a rare misstep for the budding mogul.
Meanwhile, in December 2011, Timberlake was engaged to longtime companion Jessica Biel, whom he had been dating since early 2007. Though the couple split for a short time in 2011, they reunited and were eventually married in October 2012. During this time, Timberlake's film career took off with a string of movies, co-starring opposite former girlfriend Cameron Diaz in the raunchy comedy "Bad Teacher" (2011). He followed up with the romantic comedy "Friends with Benefits" (2011), starring opposite Mila Kunis as two friends who foolishly believe adding sex to their relationship will not complicate matters. Finally, Timberlake turned action hero in the futuristic sci-fi thriller, "In Time" (2011), directed by Andrew Niccol. All three films were global box office hits. Following a supporting role in Clint Eastwood's forgettable "Trouble with the Curve" (2012), Timberlake released his third solo album, The 20/20 Experience (2013), which incorporated both neo soul and R&B, and featured the hit singles "Suit & Tie" and "Mirrors." Prior to the release of the album, Timberlake joined the esteemed "Five Timers Club" when he made his fifth hosting appearance on "SNL" in March 2013, and was joined in a skit by other Five Timers like Tom Hanks, Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin.
At the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards, during which Timberlake received the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard award, there was a brief reunion of all five members of 'NSync during Timberlake's 15-minute live set. The group performed snatches of their hits "Gone" and "Girlfriend" as well as a truncated version of "Bye Bye Bye" during the two-minute appearance. Although the sequel to his hit album, The 20/20 Experience Part 2 (2013) was less successful both critically and commercially than its predecessor, Timberlake continued his burgeoning film career. The crime thriller "Runner Runner," which paired him with Ben Affleck in a tale set against the world of online gambling, was critically panned. But Timberlake garnered respectful reviews for his supporting role as Jim, an amiable folk singer on the rise in 1961 Greenwich Village, in the Coen Brothers' comedy-drama "Inside Llewyn Davis" (2013). The film saw him perform a novelty folk song called "Please Mr. Kennedy," co-written by Timberlake and the Coens, alongside star Oscar Isaac as Llewyn Davis and Adam Driver as laconic singer-songwriter Al Cody.
After an extensive world tour capped off by a Las Vegas show captured by Jonathan Demme and released as the concert film "Justin Timberlake + the Tennessee Kids" (2016), Timberlake returned to the big screen, starring opposite Anna Kendrick in the animated hit "Trolls" (2016). Months before the film was even releaed, Timberlake's contribution to the soundtrack, "Can't Fight the Feeling" -- a tight, ebullient pop single far removed from the studio-jam vibe of The 20/20 Experience -- was that years song of the summer and eventually 2016's biggest-selling single. After laying low for much of 2017, Timberlake announced a new album, Man of the Woods, released in February 2018 to coincide with his headlining appearance at the Super Bowl halftime show, scene of his controversial duet with Janet Jackson 14 years earlier. The album, which included collaborations with Pharrell Williams, was described by Timberlake as a personal reflection on his family and his roots in Tennessee music.
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